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A PASSION FOR BUGGIES A True Buggy Family, RPI Racing Wants To Incentivize Class 1 By Dan Sanchez Photos by Get Some Photo One of the long-time members of Class 1 is the RPI Racing family of Kevin, Shelby, and Cody Reid. Racing buggies since they were VW based, the family has made major strides since Kevin began racing buggies, followed by his wife Shelby who began winning races and championships in Class 1, and son Cody doing the same in Class 10 before moving into Class 1. Shelby Reid is also one of the few women who early in her career paved the way for others to enter off-road racing, inspiring many to get behind the wheel and become Baja champions themselves. “We’re buggy people and that will never change,” says Kevin Reid. “It’s something that gets into your blood and nothing else drives, feels, and gives you the true sense of racing off-road like a buggy.” RPI Racing’s passion for Class 1 and the sport of off-road racing, had them pushing the envelope for buggy design when in 2021, they worked with Alumi Craft to modify one of the company’s AWD buggy chassis to accept 40-inch tires and handle 900 horsepower from a big-block Chevy V8. The move gave them a distinct advantage in the class with an engine that doesn’t have to run at 90-100 percent most of the time and a more comfortable ride from the larger diameter tires. While this worked well to bring back some excitement into Class 1 and raise the competitive level, they saw dwindling involvement. “I think people are not getting into Class 1 because of the expense, and are instead moving into SCORE Trophy Truck Spec,” says Reid. “We tried the Spec Class and it’s not for us.” His son Cody did some testing in a Spec truck and did not like how it felt compared to their Class 1 buggy. “To me, a buggy is a lot more fun to drive,” said Cody Reid. “I think it takes more talent to competitively drive a Class 1 buggy, and although the Spec truck had more suspension, it also felt more sluggish than what I am used to. I like feeling what the car will do. I know it’s a rougher ride, but to me, that offers extra input into what the car is doing and how I should react to it.” According to Kevin Reid, he sees some teams complaining about Class 1, the costs involved, and the lack of excitement in it compared to SCORE’s Trophy Truck classes. “Most of these people seem to look at Class 1 as a transition class into SCORE Trophy Truck, but that’s not the case for true legacy teams,” says Reid. “I always point out that instead of looking at what the class hasn’t done for you, instead, look at what you’ve done to hurt it.” “Our goal is to get more people involved,” says Cody Reid. “My mom, dad, and I are passionate about the class. We also see some who want to split the class into something like a Class 1 Spec. None of the legacy class racers want to see this happen either.” To help bring back some interest into Class 1, Kevin Reid contacted other teams with an idea that is taking hold. “We put together a coalition to come up with some ideas and the first one that came to mind was a side purse for SCORE races,” he said. “We approached SCORE and they were okay with it. Right now, there are five Class 1 teams who are committed and have put in $5k into the pot, generating a $25K payout where the winner takes all if they are a part of this.” In addition to the purse, the Reid’s hardware business (which makes extremely high-grade bolts for the military, aeronautics, space, and racing industries) is adding another $2,500 as a bonus, according to Reid. We need to work together to promote the sport as a whole,” says Reid. “With the new buggy, we were hoping to shake up the class and get more teams excited about it, but we’re still working out some bugs in the car. We’ve worked them out and are poised to do much better this 2022 SCORE Season.”SJ

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